Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Questions (225, 226)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

225. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date on which a Bill that will provide for the transposition of EU Directive (EU) 2019/1937 also known as the EU whistleblowing directive will be introduced; if he will embark on pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill; and if this will occur in advance of the deadline for the transposition of this directive which is 17 December 2021. [5826/21]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

226. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason the window of time for the consultation process given to the public to make submissions on EU Directive (EU) 2019/1937 was limited by his Department to just a five week period between 8 June and 10 July in 2020; and his plans to accept further submissions. [5827/21]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 225 and 226 together.

Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (also known as "the Whistleblowing Directive") was adopted on 23 October 2019 by the European Parliament and Council and must be transposed into Irish law by 17 December 2021. The Directive provides for a range of measures to establish a common set of minimum standards for the protection of persons who report breaches of EU law across all Member States.

Ireland already has comprehensive whistleblower protection laws in place in the form of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. Transposition of the Directive will require a number of amendments to be made to the Act.

A public consultation on those areas of the Directive where Ireland has discretion as regards implementation was conducted in June and July 2020, which was notified using the gov.ie public consultations page, through targeted invitations to relevant stakeholders and via notice in the national press. In all, 24 submissions were received to this consultation from a wide cross section of national and international sources, including advocacy groups, professional organisations, academics and whistleblowers. These submissions have been published on the public consultation page on gov.ie.

My Department continues to consult with stakeholders on a number of matters related to the transposition of the Directive and always welcomes any further submissions or feedback on this topic from interested parties.

I hope to bring the text of a draft general scheme of the legislation to transpose the Directive to Cabinet for approval in the coming weeks. The provision for Pre-legislative scrutiny has been made in the Legislative Programme for the Spring Session. I intend to complete the transposition of the Directive in advance of the deadline of 17 December 2021.